Why invest in girls?
According to UNESCO estimates and International Labour Organisation (ILO) data, 130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school today, and 15 million girls of primary-school age – half of them in sub-Saharan Africa – will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school. Women’s participation in the global labour market is nearly 27 percentage points lower than for men, and women’s labour force participation fell from 52 percent in 1990 to 49 percent in 2017.
But, when girls have the freedom to learn, earn, and save, their health and well-being increases, they become empowered to make their own decisions and take control of their own lives. And when girls are empowered, whole families become stronger both economically and socially, student numbers increase, agricultural productivity increases, while rates of child marriage, teen pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS fall.
Join our discussion
As we mark International Day of the Girl 2018, there has never been a more critical time to invest in women and girls. This event will bring together projects and organisations that support business models and social innovations that empower girls and young women in markets where they are often marginalised.
Speakers from the SPRING Accelerator, GirlSPARKS, the corporate world and the donor community will share their stories, ideas and knowledge on the role that businesses can play in creating impact for girls, helping girls overcome challenges and providing tools for them to thrive.
Questions the panel will consider:
- Why should businesses adopt more of a gender lens?
- What are the barriers to businesses designing products and services to impact girls?
- What are the ways for businesses to unlock potential girl impact?
- What is the role of funders and donors in supporting businesses that achieve development impact and help girls thrive?
During the event, SPRING Accelerator’s girl research guide will be launched. The guide offers inspiring and actionable insights that enable businesses and donors to design products, services and opportunities that can bring about meaningful and positive change in the lives of large numbers of adolescent girls.
- Suzanne Biegel – Founder of Catalyst at Large Ltd (Chair)
- Julie Cobill – Innovation Portfolio Manager, Unilever
- Julisa Tambunan – Director, GirlSPARKS
- Vikrant Pandey – Founder & CEO, Fightback Nepal